Five easy ways to save yourself
and improve your health, energy, and sleep along the way.
Thanks to friend Amy for letting me know about this recent BBC article on the dangers of bedtime reading using an eReader device!
The BBC Article is titled “E-books ‘damage sleep and health,’ doctors warn”
Before we begin, you can read the super short article, here, but the gist is that doctors compared paper books and backlit e-reading tablets, like the Kindle Fire, iPad, etc and found that the LCD screens of the tablet-style devices (just like the ones found on laptops, desktop screens, or modern televisions) disrupted sleep by messing with circadian rhythms and your sleep cycle.
It seems crazy, but the blue wavelengths of light emulate daylight, and even though they aren’t all that bright, your brain is tricked, and somewhere, deep down, part of you thinks it’s still daytime. This is bad, but it’s legit, and it’s causing poor and delayed sleep, which means what sleep you do get is not good sleep.
Unfortunately, your tablet is not the only thing that can mess with your sleep
While it brings up some good, legitimate points, it’s not enough info, and gives you almost nothing to help. Other than tell you to knock it off and go to sleep reading a paper book, you’re given little real world advice.
it’s not enough to turn off the tablet; many of today’s light bulbs and LEDs are ‘daylight bright,’ and a problem. ‘Daylight bulb’ is another way of saying they give off blue light. Blue is fine by day, bad by night.
These devices tend to look white and bright or blue white and are marketed as daylight look or daylight bulbs. Common blue light culprits are TVs, LCD and LED screens, tablets, smartphones, laptops, and any bulb or lamp you have in the house that’s meant to brighten your day.
I know you’re thinking that there’s no escaping the blue light doom, but luckily there are a few easy things you can do to counter the e-reader and blue light ‘dangers,’ so don’t worry, and read on.
Five Easy Ways to Save Yourself From Blue Light
- Use bulbs that are more yellow or ‘warm’ vs ‘daylight’ bulbs. At night, blue light bad, yellow light good.
- Dim the lights. Turn off the bright ones. Use candles. Be romantic. Even most LED candles are yellowish.
- Wear yellow glasses at night. Not just for reading, but as soon as gets dark outside, Put them on and keep them on for tv, reading, cooking, and computering.
- Use f.lux. It’s a computer program for PCs and Macs, and it shifts the display to warm light based on the time of day. It works on many phones, but iPhones require you to jailbreak them, so just wear yellow glasses.
- Use a Kindle, Nook, or Kobo with a ‘paperwhite’ or eInk screen when possible. These have black text, a white page, and little or no backlight. If you don’t have one, try a real book, and by all means wear those glasses!
Circadian rhythms are also affected by what you do during the day. Get outside (bright blue light) instead of staying inside with the dimmer light all day. Just 30 minutes a day – sans sunglasses – outside where you can see bright sky does the trick. Take a walk or eat lunch outside, and only wear sunglasses when you need to look cool.
Ready to sleep better by night and have more energy by day?
The hardest part of this health project is buying the glasses, but once you’re past that, the rest is fine tuning.
One – By night, dim the lights, get out the candles, and wear your blue blockers.
Two – By day, take a walk over lunch and enjoy 30 minutes of real daylight.
Three – Try it for a week or two and let me know how you sleep.
Better yet, let me know how if it makes you less sleepy and more energetic during the day!